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Police: Box Cutter Wielding Thieves Rob Woman in Virginia Square

by Katie Pyzyk February 6, 2013 at 10:45 am 3,443 113 Comments

Arlington County Police Department badgePolice are looking for two men who allegedly robbed a woman and held a box cutter to her throat.

On Monday (February 4) just before 8:00 p.m., police say the woman left her home and was walking in the 3800 block of N. 9th Street in Virginia Square when a man approached her. He allegedly grabbed her and held a box cutter to her throat while demanding money and a cell phone.

Police say the woman told the man she didn’t have any money, and the attacker then led her about half a block away where a second man was standing. The men then reportedly took the victim’s cell phone and fled on foot.

The first subject is described as a black male, 6’0” tall and 160 pounds. At the time of the crime, the subject was described as wearing a ski mask, grey winter jacket, light jeans and was brandishing a grey box cutter. The second subject is described as a black male, 5’10” tall and 200 pounds. He was said to have a round face and beard, and was wearing a white hat, royal blue jacket with an orange bottom, dark jeans and white shoes.

Anyone with information about the suspects or this crime is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222.

  • Great

    It is frowned upto to judge people on their looks but if you look at almost all of the robberies or muggings that are posted on this site it always is the same description. Arlington County approved building more and more condos and with it came more and more affluent people, which in turn brings more crime. Arlington County needs to balance this with a lot more police to patrol what is becoming a lot less desirable place to live because of the crime that is popping up more frequently.

    • DCBuff

      “and with it came more and more affluent people, which in turn brings more crime.” Round up the affluent people!

      • Great

        Or hire more police. Which was the point.

        • DCBuff

          You must be new around here. While I strongly support ACPD doing something besides eating donuts and writing innumerable traffic tickets, overall crime rates are well below the level of 15-20 years ago, despite the addition of all those affluent people.

          • Clarendon

            What is it with you people and your ‘facts’? Take that somewhere else !

    • Hee-Haw

      No, its the coverage of crimes that is popping up more frequently. Looks like the media has done its job on you…

    • drax

      “if you look at almost all of the robberies or muggings that are posted on this site it always is the same description”

      So who should we round up? (Other than affluent people).

      • WeiQiang

        “royal blue jacket with an orange bottom” = fashion risk-taker roundup!

        • snarl

          go gators!

        • drax

          Our prisons aren’t big enough.

    • A-Town

      If more people concealed-carried that would prevent a lot of crime spilling over from neighboring jurisdictions. Maryland’s repeal of the Death Penalty will surely help make Virginia safer.

      • KathyInArlington

        Should Maryland repeal the Death Penalty, it will not make Virginia less safe. Those new convictions of criminals who, under prior law, may have gotten the death penalty will now receive instead life in prison without the possibility of parole.

        • KathyInArlington

          My comment was not well worded. Should have written: Those newly convicted criminals who, under prior law, may have gotten the death penalty will now probably receive instead life in prison without the possibility of parole.

        • KathyInArlington

          My comment was poorly worded. This sentence should have read: Newly convicted criminals who, under prior law, may have gotten the death penalty will now more than likely receive instead life in prison without the possibility of parole.

          • KathyInArlington

            DAMN! This system is rather slow and I thought my first reply did not take, so I did it again! Sorry.

    • Your wife

      “almost all of the robberies or muggings that are posted on this site it always is the same description”

      Yes – a male. If we just locked up the males, the world would be a much safer place.

      • drax

        Males are legally exempt from crass generalizations. Others, like the one nobody dares say out loud here, have to be snuck in with code words like “PG.” You can bash the homeless all you want.

        • mary-austin

          Does it make you feel better to pretend like a disproportionate number of violent crimes here are not committed by residents of PG and DC?

          • drax

            If that’s true – and we don’t know if it is – why does it matter exactly? What do you want to do about it?

        • WeiQiang

          it’s funny, because i was born in DC and raised in PG … and i’m neither African-American nor Latino. i think there’s a specific exemption in the hater codiciles for me.

          • bemused bystander

            Only if you never wear hoodies or ski masks. It would also help not to be male.

          • drax

            You’re still in the most criminal group there is – males. Time for a male roundup!

          • WeiQiang

            i wear a black hoodie in the Fall and Winter when i’m out walking my pit bull. true story.

          • MyHood

            I’ve seen your “pit bull” – the pink collar and whole body wag when you say hello to her makes her decidely unscary. (and yes I know this is a reply to the wrong comment but the site won’t let me reply to that one for some reason).

    • Tumblebum

      Crime in Arlington (all categories) is a mere fraction of what it was in the 70s, 80s, and much of the 90s.

  • James

    What crime? Arlington is a bubble. Nothing bad ever happens here. Didn’t you get the memo from the chief of police. Everything is great. Be happy with your existence.

  • County Board

    We can’t afford more police. We’ve got a water park to build.

    • DCBuff

      Don’t forget the trolley!

      • Buckingham Beauty

        Don’t forget the bocce court by the Ballston parking garage!

        • YTK

          and Super Froyo — the ultimate Crime Fighter

          • Buckingham Beauty

            Hmm…maybe I can keep a spare Super Froyo gift card (do they do those?) on hand at all times so I can pacify any creep that tries to mug me?

            Creep with a box cutter — “Give me your wallet!”

            Me, with an ace up my sleeve — “I don’t have any money, but looky here, there’s a $5 Super Froyo gift card in my pocket. You want that?”

            Creep walks away happy as a five-year-old on a snow day. Crime prevention at its best.

        • JamesE

          That’s nothing compared to the Clarendon dog park, need $1.6 million to walk my precious.

          • WeiQiang

            c’mon, we’ve been through this. people can also use the park … AND it includes a dog-wading and -drinking water feature that i’d love in my back yard. but, yes, $1.6M is still serious coinage.

  • Jack

    We take pride in everything we do here in Arlington. So much that we’re biggots because really this what DC is all about isn’t it? Oh yeah, I forgot…

    • drax

      You’re not a biggot, Jack.

      You’re a bigot.

      • Sam

        I hop someone breaks every tooth out of your head.

        • Quoth the Raven

          I “hope” you were being sarcastic…

        • drax

          Are you standing up for bigots? Or biggots?

          • DCBuff

            Troll dentists.

        • snarl

          sam: well-thought-out, meaningful, contribution

        • WeiQiang

          i’m pretty sure this comment is a violation of the ArlNow Blue Book and Ms. Arlington’s Guide To Good Manners.

        • Buckingham Beauty

          Mmm…did someone say IHOP? Darn, I forgot about yesterday’s free short stack day at IHOP. Phooey.

        • MC 703

          This passes comment policy muster?

  • Crime Stats

    Are these types of incidents actually happening more frequently, or does it just feel that way because of attention-grabbing headlines we read on arlnow?

    • CrystalMikey

      I sure hope not. I think it’s just because we hear about them now through ArlNow. I also know I never used to peruse the Police Reports until this site starting reporting on them.

    • Aaron

      Was it better when you didn’t know about it? I don’t understand how being aware that there are a significant number of robberies, burglaries, car thefts, assaults, etc., taking place every day in our sweet little bubble makes us any worse off.

  • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

    I have in the past written to the county board and the police department to ask about why there are not bike and foot patrols in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor.

    I was definitely not satisfied with the answer that I got. I was writing specifically with regards to Ballston. This is part of the response.
    “I am writing to you on behalf of the County Board Chair Mary Hynes regarding your email inquiring about recent crime in the area of Ballston Mall. Arlington is a safe place to live; however, toward the end of the summer Arlington did experience several incidents of violent crime which were widely publicized but there does not appear to be a pattern. Many of these incidents have been closed. Although the Molotov cocktail incident is disturbing the fact is that crime is down in the Ballston area. Compared to last year (Jan-Sept) there is a decrease in Part 1 offenses (Homicide, Rape, Robbery, Assaults, Burglary, Larceny and Auto Theft) in the Ballston Mall area (See attached). We do not have a satellite office in the mall or the Metro. The Ballston mall has its own security and Metro Police is primary in the metro, but we do work very closely with Ballston Mall security and Metro Police Department. Along with the Patrol officers who work the area, the District Team officers also work in and around Ballston on a regular basis. We also utilize plain clothes officers and auxiliary officers in the area. We do occasionally have the officers on bicycles but we do not have a full time bike team. I can assure you that we actively monitor all incidents to quickly identify any problems that may develop and deploy all available resources accordingly.”

    I suggest that we write in to the county board and to the Commander of the 1st District to ask why we have no bike team and why there is no foot patrol done. The county police and the county board are in total denial that this is an URBAN area and with that, comes crime unless there is a police patrol that is felt.

    Clearly- criminals are targeting this corridor and have no fear of being caught. This county and this corridor in general are heading downhill fast. What an embarassment.

    • Dezlboy

      @Sheriff Gonna Getcha, I have seen bike and segway patrols in Rossyln.

  • Tom W.

    Now there is a correlation I haven’t heard of before. The growth of affluent communities leads to higher crime rates than experienced by the growth of less affluent neighborhoods. That must be why the neighborhoods in Georgetown are so crime ridden compared to Anacostia in southeast D.C..

    • drax

      The solution to crime is not to have anything somebody wants to steal.

      • DCBuff

        @drax, possibly your most worthless post yet. And, yes, I get it was meant to be ironic.

        • Hee-Haw

          close, but here is the winner:
          “They are caused by BOTH. And human activity is what’s pushing the temperature above the level that will have consequences for us. OUr contribution may be small, but it’s significant. It’s like if you’re up to your neck in water in a pool, and someone adds just a little more water. They don’t add much, but it makes all the difference.”

          • DCBuff

            I’ve sent that one out for translation.

          • drax

            I guess analogies elude you.

            Here, I’ll try an easier one: Hee-Haw has 200 pounds of pig iron lying on his chest. He can barely breath. I add 10 more pounds, and he expires.

            It was only 10 pounds – how could that hurt him? It’s not my fault – it was only 10 pounds.

            I know, you won’t get that one either.

          • Hee-Haw

            No I get that one. The pool one makes no sense.

          • drax

            Hee-haw, maybe you’re too tall to get the pool one.

          • Hee-Haw

            No, I used to swim a lot so I get how water in a pool works. A little more water added to a pool will do nothing and no one would notice.

    • b-money

      Affluency + Easy Transportation to Affluent area from poor area = crime

      Georgetown is a pain in the ass to get to/from. North Arlington has the Orange line and many busses.

    • VaGurl

      Actually when it comes to crimes associated with affluence (robberies, burglaries, stolen vehicles) Georgetown and the more affluent areas has the most of any of the “other side of anacostia” neighborhoods in DC, because that’s where the money is. Now, shootings and petty fighting is a different story.

      So two different types of crime, so yes and no affluence DOES bring crime. Just not the types of crime we associate with ghettos. They are crimes of opportunity. Creeps don’t rob people in Anacostia, they don’t have anything they want.

      • Autoexec.bat

        Not really true. If you follow MPD on Twitter and mentally map out the crime from each day, aside from “Far Southeast” DC, Columbia Heights takes the cake for most crime in DC. That’s in terms of violent crime, property crime and robberies.

        • VaGurl

          Actually i do follow them on Twitter, and hate to tell you they dont put EVERY crime on twitter, believe it or not. Its kind of bad for business to advertise lots of crime in touristy areas. Check the crime stats. What i say holds true.

          • Autoexec.bat

            The crime map is down, but according to an informative PoP post from this summer (a map made with said crime data), you’re not correct. Georgetown does play host to the most crime in far Northwest, but is WAY outdone by near Northwest and basically most of NE. See here: http://www.popville.com/2012/07/crime-map-of-washington-dc/

          • VaGurl

            it wont let me reply to you, but actually the map you posted illustrates what i said exactly: “Georgetown and the more affluent areas” – dark parts of the map signal higher crime rates, the high tourist areas LIKE “Georgetown and the more affluent areas” have high crime rates as does Anacostia areas. What is with you stuck on Georgetown?

    • Swag

      It’s only a crime if it happens to white people.

  • PikeLife

    So sick of you whiny N Arlington yuppies whining about a chick getting mugged. Just because she spends $2400 a month to live in a tiny little apartment does that mean she is suddenly immune to crime(makes her a bit of an idiot)? She wanted to live near the metro, comes with the territory. Stuff like this happens in S. Arlington all of the time, but never gets reported.

  • Well

    You’re likely to get someone with a smartphone in Arlington, whereas in Anacostia or SE D.C. you’re not.

    • Autoexec.bat

      Open your eyes. Smartphones are in *Everyone’s* pockets, rich, poor and everyone in between. If you lived in SE DC, why would you commit robberies among people who are likely to recognize you AND presumably more likely to exact vengeance? Why not go to Arlington where no one knows you *AND* you’re likely to come away with a better smartphone.

  • roycroft

    This happened about a block from the metro. Grab and go…..

  • DonthinkSo

    actually, AFAIK North Arlington doesnt have much more crime than Georgetown (which used to have quite a lot of crime)

    fact is most criminals don’t use metro for getaways – they run away on foot if they live nearby, and leave by car if they live futher

    • CourthouseChris

      Because you preceded your ridiculous conjecture with “fact is” makes me believe it. I’m convinced.

      • DCBuff

        We all know from recent ArlNow postings that most criminals use pink bikes with pink tires for getaways.

    • Keith

      I was living in Virginia Square in 1988 in the only high rise hire there at the time, and watched from my balcony as two men grab executed a purse grab, then ran straight down the escalator into the Virginia Square metro. A couple of cops went running down after them a few minutes later, but the perpsmust have caught a train, because the police came out later empty handed.

  • urbanvillager

    with the county agenda of density and development (without regard to impact on existing citizens) these issues will continue increasing in frequency.

  • Pat M

    The park near the VA Square metro has been unsafe for the past couple of years. A lot vagrants hanging out there with several being mentally ill. As a resident, I say it’s time to stop using the park as a place to drop off food for the homeless. They can go to the homeless shelter in Court House…

    • Don

      I am one of a number from mychurch (Clarendon Presbyterian Church) that volunteer handing out food to the homeless at that location when we are called upon to do so. I have never encountered any trouble from those seeking food. Many of them are way more polite that the “Average Joe/Jane” that live in Arlington. They are very appreciative of the warm soup and sandwiches thety receive. Not all utilize the shelter (plus shelter probably doesn’t have space to accomodate them.

      • polk

        Vagrants? LOL, grandpa. Tell them to get off your lawn! As soon as they make their mental illness disappear!

      • Pat M

        Please set up a feeding station at Clarendon Presbyterian Church. I’ve encountered homeless that have been verbally abusive around the start of the times that you all have provided the meals. I’m sure that not all of them are this way, and I’m sure they would be more than happy to walk to Clarendon for the food that you provide.

        • ArlEnthusiast

          The homeless people who receive food from A-SPAN staffers and volunteers in Oakland Park four nights a week are invited to eat their meals inside nearby St. George’s Episcopal Church on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. A-SPAN and volunteers organized by St. George’s (including both parishioners and neighborhood residents) work together to give the needy a warm welcome, a break from the elements, and a nutritious meal. A-SPAN staffers have been able to get a number of the clients of this program into housing and off the streets. If you’re interested in helping the homeless in Arlington, I encourage you to call or e-mail St. George’s or A-SPAN.

    • C A T

      My door is just 10 or 20 yards from that park. Nothing unsafe about it. So much foot traffic in the area at that time, nothing’s going to happen

      • OH really?

        Just like nothing happened with this box cutter yielding low life? The robbery happened directly next to that park.

      • Pat M

        You aren’t paying attention then, C A T. A guy that lives in my building was held up at knife point over the summer while walking his dog. This isn’t the first time muggings have happened at this park, and if proper lighting and other improvements don’t occur, things will get worse…

  • Becoming Indifferent

    I’ve been saying that for years–this county, as in the County Board, could care less about those of us who have lived in Arlington before the development boom.

    • DCBuff

      Not to argue with your premise, but what does it have to do with this news article?

      • GoodOmens

        I was wondering the same thing….

    • CourthouseChris

      What a crotchety old man you sound like.

      I’ve been here longer and deserve special consideration for it!

    • Chief Powhatan

      Gee, NOW you complain.

    • mike

      If you feel sure that the County Board “could care less” about you, why that is a problem – they must be caring some, since you posit that it is possible for them to care less.

  • QP Doll

    The thing that strikes me is that this is not a deserted area at 8 PM on a Monday night – Gold’s Gym is right there, and there is a lot of foot traffic in the neighborhood. Pretty scary that this could happen without someone seeing/helping.

    • Pat M

      It’s pretty dark through that stretch. Last summer, a guy was robbed at knife point in the same area as he walked his dog. Once the sun goes down, I avoid walking by that park at all costs.

  • LGB

    I live in a hi-rise right where the crime happened, and I have to say, I am not surprised, but having been a victim of a similar crime 10 years ago when I live in Woodley Park, I can tell you that this poor woman is a mess today, and will likely need help to deal with the trauma. When I first moved to Virginia Square 9 yrs ago, I felt much safer. I do not feel so safe in light of all of the robberies that have been happening in our neighborhood. Saturday night I was walking home from the VA Sq metro at 10 pm with my two kids ages 10 and 12. I purposely walked along North Fairfax instead of Ninth St. because it is more traveled and better lit. When I saw two black 20 something men wearing hoods approaching us from a half block away,I told my kids to cross the street with me, NOW. They were startled, because they are trusting. Now call it racial profiling, but I am not about to put my kids through a mugging if I can at all prevent it. And truth be told, that is what the guy looked like who mugged me, and that is a very common description of the people who commit muggings in Arlington. Bottom line, I learned the hard way to trust my gut….and black, white, asian….it doesn’t matter, but when something doesn’t seem right, you need to act…and be very aware of your surroundings. Sure, I’m probably more paranoid given my history….but once you are looking your mortality in the face, it kind of changes things.

    • Autoexec.bat

      I would have done the same thing. Trust your instincts and don’t apologize for them.

    • GC2

      How incredibly racist, yet completely logical to me – I’d do the same.

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    I run west on 9th street often, the only police I have seen is a parked patrol car in the alley on Utah st about a week ago, he wasn’t doing much other than looking at his PC.

    Foot patrols at night would do a lot to deter this type of crime. Perhaps it is too cold?

    • Buckingham Beauty

      If it’s not too cold for a woman to walk home and for two guys to mug her, then how could it be too cold for a foot patrol?

  • Resident

    Just walked into my building at VaSq and noticed 6 marked Metro police vehicles and another 5 unmarked vehicles, most with K9’s and Metro police in them. Not sure what’s going on today but solving crime after the fact doesn’t help as a deterrant.

    • AL

      Solving crime before it happens is the obvious solution!

      • Harold Finch

        I’m on it!

      • Resident

        Seriously? Deterring crime is the point of my comment. Perhaps law enforcement could be more visible and spend more time outside their cars? Last I checked the metro stops are 1/2 mile apart; does a cop need to drive 60mph to respond or would a bicycle suffice?

  • Alex

    Poverty hasn’t even begun to balloon the way it very well may as we see the combination of spending cuts and tax increases across the local, state and Federal level. We need more police, but we also need a more effective social safety net. Rather than spending hundreds of millions on street cars and water parks perhaps we should spend some time focusing on our crime, decaying infrastructure and unbalanced budget. Mental health problems and drug abuse probably play a role here — and we aren’t doing enough about either.

    • DCBuff

      While your points re spending/taxs v. need for more police (perhaps we have enough police and just need to change patrol priorities) v. an effective social safety net v. spending priorities are all valid, I seriously doubt that “mental health problems” had anything to do with this robbery. Making excuses for criminals doesn’t help deter crime.

  • AL

    What are all you North Arlington people complaining about? These sorts of robberies are a daily occurrence in South Arlington!

    • Pat M

      Which is exactly why we are complaining! We don’t want these sorts of robberies happening in North Arlington!

      • drax

        That deserves a special FREDTERP.

      • AL

        I resent the idea that somehow North Arlingtonians deserve to be safer simply because their property values are higher and they have better access to transit! Why on earth should how much money someone is able to spend on a home determine what sort of safety they deserve?

        • Pat M

          No one said that, AL. What you implied in your post is there is no reason for us North Arlingtonians to complain about crime as the same crime happens all the time in South Arlington. Your post states that these crimes happen daily in South Arlington so why are residents of North Arlington complaining?

          I agree, no one deserves be any safer based on their zip code. It is our rights as citizens to complain/protest about issues that affect our communities. I will complain to my local rep about the issues that I feel are negatively impacting my family and neighbors. I suggest you do the same…

  • NVA

    This is why I live in North Arlington and not South Arlington! I agree that our Arlington County Board needs to wake up and end their fantasy visions of aquatic centers that less than 1% of our county residents will use and instead divert some of the money to increase the police force across the county. Not only would this help with crime but it would quickly end any issues with a budget deficit.

  • drax

    If guns are outlawed, outlaws will have box cutters.

  • Jake_O

    If VA Square only had a Waffle House I really think things would be better…

  • Say it Ain’t So

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a box cutter is a good guy with a box cutter!

  • AndrewA

    These are unacceptably vicious crimes. When is this County going to clamp down big time on the hot bed of revolving door justice and festering crime hotspots? How can such a small County have so many weirdos.


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